The constitution Flashcards Unit 2

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Define a constitution?
A set of rules that establish and describe the distribution of power within a state, the procedures of government, the limits to govv power and the rights of citizens. May be unmodified, federal or unitary.
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What is constitutionalism?
A principle that government operates within a set of constitutional rules and not in an arbitrary fashion. May be written or unwritten.
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What is entrenchment?
When the constitutional laws are in a codified constitution they are superior and safeguard, and are said to be entrenched. (cannot be set aside/changed without special safeguarding arrangements.)
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What is sovereignty?
Ultimate power within a political system
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What is legal sovereignty?
Refers to the power to make laws. where power lies theoretically.
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What is political sovereignty?
Refers to the location of power in very general terms. It is where power lies in reality.
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What is a unitary constitution?
Where legal sovereignty lies in one place, any powers not assigned by law automatically fall to the body with legal sovereignty. In the UK this is Parliament.
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What is a federal constitution?
Legal sovereignty is divided between the centre and regional bodies. E.g. USA
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What is Quasi federalism?
An expression which suggests that the devolution process looks effectiely like federalism but is not specifically because no sovereignty has been divided.
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What is an elective dictatorship?
How the executive branch in the political system is dominant to such an extent it has been described as a 'dictatorship'.
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Define judicial Review
Process undertaken by senior courts where judges are required to reinterpret/clarify constitutional rules.
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Important case of Judicial Review in the US?
Brown v Board of Education 1954 - declared that the segregation of education on the grounds of race violated the constitutional principle for equal rights.
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How many times has US constitution been amended?
27 times due to its complex amendment procedure.
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Example of Judicial Review in the UK?
Crime and Security Act which was a response to 9/11 attacks in USA. Gave gov power to detain international suspects.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is constitutionalism?

Back

A principle that government operates within a set of constitutional rules and not in an arbitrary fashion. May be written or unwritten.

Card 3

Front

What is entrenchment?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is sovereignty?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is legal sovereignty?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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